Here’s my shot at a step towards being a bit more healthy with snacking. It can’t be all cheese-filled snacks and processed foods all of the time, I guess. (Though, I sure wouldn’t mind always having a big batch of chicken wing dip on hand, just in case.) I was looking around for some healthy snack ideas that would be quick and easy to eat before a trip to gym or at 10 AM, when my fruit and yogurt breakfast has well-worn off, and I’m already thinking about digging in to my lunchbox. At times like this, I’m just looking for a little pick-me-up, a quick burst of energy to get me through the next few hours. Enter in these healthful granola bars.
This particular recipe creates a crunchy bar, and its jam-packed with some pretty nutritious ingredients. I’ve been doing some research, so let’s take a look at the lineup!(Disclaimer - I’m not an expert, nor do I claim to be. I google things to learn more about them, just like you. So click on the ingredient name if you’d like to dig deeper.)
- Almonds - these nuts are chock full of vitamins and minerals. There’s vitamin E, riboflavin, and calcium, to name a few. Plus they also have protein and fiber, which help you feel more full.
- Dried Cranberries - these dried fruits are a fairly healthy snack option as they’re low in fat and contain fiber. The sugar in dried cranberries is all natural instead of being pumped with artificial sweetener.
- Pepitas - these little seeds are a good source of carbohydrates and fiber. They’re also high in protein, and the better-for-you monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Pepitas are also a great source of minerals like manganese, magnesium, and iron, which help keep your body working.
- Ground Flaxseed - These little seeds are all the rage, in my book. They have plenty of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants, so it’s thought that they may reduce the risk of many life-threatening diseases. We’ve been incorporating a few tablespoons into most of our breakfasts lately. Try topping off some yogurt with a tablespoon or blending it up in a smoothie.
Holding this crunchy granola together is a mixture of coconut oil, pure maple syrup, and light brown sugar. Despite the two sources of sugar, I don’t find these granola bars to be overly sweet. In fact, they’re more savory and salty. And, they’re way better for you (and more filling too!) than, say, ripping open a big bag of potato chips when the salty and crunchy craving comes along. I think these nutrient rich bars are perfect for a pre-gym snack – they fill you up, provide a blast of energy, and won’t slow you down during your hour spin class. Who would have thought I’d enjoy eating such a healthy snack? Don’t tell Mr. Big Flavors, but I might be starting on a granola kick here.